Suzuki Motor Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Suzuki Motor Corporation

300, Takatsuka-cho
Shizuoka 432-8611

Company Perspectives:

Creativity--a human gift to develop products that promote better living conditions and satisfy people's needs. Since the founding of Suzuki Motor Corporation, we have always pursued providing "value-packed products" as one of our manufacturing philosophies. Realizing that the value differs according to the times, country and lifestyle, we are fully determined to challenge for the creativity to make such products for customers around the world with our advanced technologies and enthusiasm.

History of Suzuki Motor Corporation

Suzuki Motor Corporation is Japan's fourth largest automaker (trailing Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd.), marketing its vehicles in more than 190 countries around the world. During fiscal 2003 the company sold about 1.8 million automobiles, with slightly less than half of the sales occurring outside of Japan. Suzuki is best known in the United States and Europe as a manufacturer of small, fuel-efficient cars and sport-utility vehicles, as well as powerful motorcycles, although it moved into the midsize car sector during the 2004 model year with the introduction of the Verona. In its home market of Japan, however, the company is the leading maker of "minicars"--a classification almost unknown outside Japan. These tiny automobiles--smaller than American subcompact models--are popular because of the tremendous overcrowding in Japanese cities, where since the early 1990s a larger car cannot be purchased legally until the owner can show proof that he or she has a parking spot. In the market for two-wheeled vehicles, approximately 80 percent of Suzuki's domestic output is mopeds, or motor-driven bicycles; overall, Suzuki holds the number three position in the Japanese motorcycle market, behind Honda and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. The company also makes marine outboard motors, generators, and water pumps. In addition, through its network of foreign assembly plants, Suzuki is adept at turning out millions of car parts.

Suzuki's growth has been predicated on its distinctive domestic and international strategies. Domestically, the company owes its success to its high-quality engines, around which it designs a wide variety of vehicles for special or emerging niche markets. Internationally, Suzuki has traditionally targeted developing countries with growing populations, including Cambodia, India, China, Hungary, Indonesia, and Pakistan. Suzuki's policy in these markets is to find a local partner to sell simple, more affordable vehicles, taking advantage of the small margins on huge volumes of sales. Suzuki is also involved in a longstanding alliance with General Motors Corporation (GM), with Suzuki acting as a key component in GM's network of alliances with Asian automakers; GM holds a 20 percent stake in Suzuki. As part of this alliance, Suzuki has taken a 15 percent stake in South Korean automaker GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, the former Daewoo Motor Company. Suzuki also holds majority control of automakers Maruti Udyog Ltd. of India and P.T. Indomobil Suzuki International in Indonesia. In the U.S. market, Suzuki's strategy is an extension of its domestic plan. While the major automakers battle for leadership in mass markets, Suzuki excels in the quirky niches between jeep and sport-utility vehicle and between compact and subcompact.

Early 20th-Century Founding

Suzuki Motor Corporation was founded by Michio Suzuki in 1909 as a manufacturer of weaving machines. From its base in Hamamatsu, the Suzuki Loom Works, as it was then known, supplied weaving equipment to hundreds of small fabrics manufacturers in and between Tokyo, Yokohama, and Nagoya. At the time, textile manufacturing was one of Japan's biggest industries. It provided a growing and stable market for the Suzuki enterprise. In 1920 Michio Suzuki took his company public and named the new firm Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.

Suzuki continued to manufacture weaving machines exclusively throughout the 1920s and until the mid-1930s. At that time a militarist clique gained control of the government and began a massive mobilization program called the "quasi-war economy." Companies throughout the country were asked to begin planning for a conversion to armaments manufacturing. Suzuki was an especially attractive supplier because it was in the business of equipping other factories. In addition, the company was located far away from major industrial centers that would become primary bombing targets.

By 1937 Suzuki had begun production of a variety of war-related materials, which may have included vehicle parts, gun assemblies, and armor. For its part in Japan's World War II effort, Suzuki, like thousands of other companies, was requisitioned for war production and probably had no intention of becoming a manufacturer of military implements. Nevertheless, the company continued to manufacture weaving machines for the duration of the war. Fortunately, the Suzuki factory and the city of Hamamatsu escaped the ravages of U.S. bombing campaigns. The company was capable of resuming production after the war, but the economy and supply networks were in ruins.

New Directions After World War II

Suzuki reestablished production of textile manufacturing equipment soon after World War II. Japan, however, was so impoverished that there was little demand for new woven products. As a result, few companies could afford to purchase new looms. By 1947 the pace of investment continued to be slow, prompting Suzuki to make a major change in its business. That year the company moved to a new headquarters building and, relying on the manufacturing experience it had gained during the war, began design work on motorized vehicles. The prospects were favorable; Japan was a nation of nearly 100 million people, nearly all of whom lacked access to basic transportation.

The heart of the new Suzuki product line was a small 36cc engine that could be used to motorize bicycles. Production of the moped, called the Power Free, began in 1952, prompting Suzuki to abandon weaving equipment entirely. In conjunction with the introduction of the new product line, the company changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. in 1954, the same year it introduced its first motorcycle, the Colleda. Later in 1954, Suzuki graduated from two-wheeled vehicles to a lightweight passenger sedan called the Suzulight, powered by a 360cc engine. In the process, Suzuki gained valuable experience in developing larger internal combustion engines, vehicle frames, gear systems, and steering mechanisms. In 1958 Suzuki developed an improved moped, named the Suzumoped. The following year it began production of a revolutionary delivery van, much smaller than conventional delivery trucks then in use and more appropriately suited to many motorized businesses.

Suzuki banked on the fact that, as its customers' operations grew, so would their needs. Therefore, it would be pointless for the company to squander hard-won loyalty by neglecting to offer its customers a properly diverse product line. Having gained an important foothold in various sectors of the Japanese vehicle market, Suzuki cleverly used these beachheads for further expansion. The popular delivery van of 1959 convinced the company to develop a light truck, called the Suzulight Carry FB, in 1961.

The single event that gained Suzuki its greatest international recognition, however, occurred the following year, when a Suzuki motorcycle won the 50cc-class Isle of Man race. It was the first of many victories for Suzuki motorcycles, victories that firmly established the previously unknown company model as a world leader. By 1970, demand for more powerful motorcycles would prompt Suzuki to develop its first line of four-stroke engine motorcycles. This preserved Suzuki's position of leadership in the market.

Exporting and Diversifying: 1960s-70s

Suzuki had difficulty expanding into domestic automobile markets that were dominated by Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. As a result, it was unable to develop a more sophisticated product line. In its search for growth, Suzuki turned instead to export markets that were in the same economic condition Japan had been in 10 or 15 years earlier. The most promising market was Thailand, a country that historically had close ties with Japan. In 1967 Suzuki established a factory in Thailand to assemble a variety of vehicles whose parts were made in Japan. By providing local employment and inviting Thai investment in the venture, Suzuki skirted import restrictions that locked out other manufacturers. Later, Suzuki duplicated the export development formula in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Still unable to reach sales goals for domestic vehicles, however, Suzuki began a diversification campaign. The company's small engines were fitted to electrical generators, yielding an entirely new line of portable power sources. In 1965 Suzuki expanded into outboard motors for boats. In addition, the company dabbled in housing, an initially successful but short-lived venture.

The 1973 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil embargo drastically changed the automobile market. Faced with skyrocketing fuel prices, consumers showed interest in more efficient cars. But while Suzuki's little cars and trucks sipped gasoline, they were underpowered when compared with competing models from Japan's big three. The company's domestic auto sales slid further during a 1974 recession resulting from the oil crisis. That year, total sales of minicars--Suzuki's prime automobile segment--fell by more than 65 percent from 1970.

Suzuki began a major export campaign soon afterward, commencing full motorcycle production in Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan. In addition, it sent automobiles to the United States for the first time. The product was a bit unusual in the U.S. market, where the roads were dominated by enormous, heavy cars. Suzukis were introduced in the United States in small numbers but were refreshingly fuel-efficient, capable of using one-third to one-half as much gasoline as some American models. Suzuki, however, entered the U.S. market well behind Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and even Mazda and Subaru. Furthermore, by 1978, fuel prices had fallen, and demand for Suzuki's "economy cars" was evaporating. Oil prices would shoot up again briefly in 1979, following the Iranian Revolution, but by then many of Suzuki's most promising markets had enacted tough laws restricting imports from Japan.

1970s-80s: Forging Partnerships

Returning to the development strategy it had begun in Thailand in 1967, Suzuki negotiated a number of foreign investment deals, agreeing to locate production facilities in several countries in return for access to their markets. In 1982 the company established a Pakistani production firm called PACO and a similar operation in India called Maruti Udyog Ltd., which was a joint venture with the Indian government. Suzuki also established a partnership in Spain with Land Rover, known as Land Rover Santana S.A. Two years later Suzuki set up new marketing operations in New Zealand and France.

In the United States, Suzuki's largest market outside Japan, the company signed a series of marketing and production contracts with General Motors and rival Isuzu Motors, Ltd. in 1981 (the latter two companies were already affiliated, with GM holding a 34 percent stake in Isuzu). As part of the deal, GM purchased a 3 percent interest in Suzuki. The companies planned to share production facilities and handle marketing of each other's products. In 1983 Suzuki began production of its Swift subcompact, selling the cars through GM as the Chevy Sprint and later as the Geo Metro. Another result of Suzuki's arrangements with GM was the creation of a joint subsidiary in Canada, called CAMI Automotive Inc., in 1986. This plant went into production in 1989, manufacturing Sprints, Metros, and Suzuki Sidekicks (also marketed as Geo Trackers).

While Suzuki's joint venture with GM was off to a good start, Suzuki had considerably more trouble of its own. In 1985 it had begun importing the Samurai, the first compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV) sold in the United States (that term had not yet been coined, however, so the Samurai was called a "multipurpose vehicle"). One year later the company established American Suzuki Motor Corp. as a U.S. holding company subsidiary at Brea, California. U.S. sales of the Samurai surged to 83,334 by 1987, but one year later Consumer Reports declared that the Samurai was an unsafe vehicle. Specifically, the magazine noted that the Samurai's high center of gravity could cause it to flip over while negotiating turns even at low speeds. Suzuki launched its own investigation and took remedial measures, but the damage had already been done; sales plunged 31 percent in 1988, bottoming out at just 13,979 units by 1990. Worse for Suzuki, the company's entire U.S. executive team resigned--a gesture of atonement that was misinterpreted as an abandonment of the company's commitment to the product and to the U.S. market in general. The Samurai meantime received a clean bill of health from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted an investigation of the vehicle and found it no more prone to roll over than other light-duty vehicles.

Domestically, Suzuki developed several new models during the 1980s, including the Cultus subcompact in 1983 and the four-wheel-drive Escudo in 1988. Also in 1988, Suzuki agreed to handle sales of Peugeot automobiles in Japan. The following year, the company rolled out the Cultus Esteem, which shared the same 1600cc engine as the Escudo. Also shoring up revenues were motorcycle sales, which were recovering by 1990, following a decline that had begun in 1982.

With the Samurai debacle mostly behind it, Suzuki initiated a subtle campaign to reestablish the vehicle's promising U.S. franchise. The high-riding Samurai was popular with younger adults who favored a more rugged jeep-like buggy that was impervious to off-road obstacles. Above all, it was fun to drive and distinctive in appearance.

Suzuki also continued its push at globalization, opening a plant in Great Britain in 1986 that turned out 15,000 microvans annually. The company established a partnership with the Egyptian company Modern Motors SAE, called Suzuki Egypt SAE, to build compact cars and the Super Carry truck and van line in that country. Suzuki licensed manufacture of its Swift/Forsa model through Colmotores SA in Columbia. The Pakistani venture also was expanded to include automobile manufacture under a new company, Pak Suzuki Motor Company, Ltd. In April 1991 Suzuki established a joint venture with C. Itoh, the start-up Hungarian auto manufacturer Autokonzern RT, and the International Finance Corporation. The enterprise, called Magyar Suzuki Corporation, began production of the Suzuki Swift in Hungary the following year. In addition to putting up $230 million in capital for the new company, Suzuki flew each of its Hungarian workers to Japan for training in its production methods.

Meantime, in 1990, Suzuki Motor Company adopted the more international name Suzuki Motor Corporation. During this time, the company suffered reverses in its largest enterprise, midget cars with engines under 550cc. This was due to two factors: new laws that extended parking restrictions to cars of that class and a worsening recession in Japan. Suzuki's losses were partially offset by an increase in motorcycle sales, but because revenues from auto manufacturing were nearly five times greater than motorcycle sales, the company's overall growth rate slowed substantially.

A promising area for Suzuki was its place under the corporate umbrella of General Motors' international ventures. Through teaming agreements, Suzuki was designated GM's de facto small car division, developing automobiles for the American company under the Geo nameplate. Elsewhere in Suzuki's U.S. business, sales of the Samurai recovered to 20,000 in 1992 but they never again approached the level achieved in 1987, and the Samurai model ceased production in 1996. Suzuki continued to produce the Sidekick, however, and in 1995 the company introduced the mini sport-utility vehicle, the X-90. With engines, suspensions, and four-wheel-drive options similar to the two-door Sidekick, the two-seat X-90 combined off-road capabilities with carlike, commuter-friendly features.

Exploiting Niche Markets in the 1990s

Globally, Suzuki continued to seek out countries with emerging markets and large populations. Its joint ventures with the governments of Pakistan, Hungary, Egypt, and Columbia had been low-risk and cost-effective means of expansion. The company stepped up that same successful strategy in the early to mid-1990s in India and China. Having begun a joint venture with the Indian government-controlled Maruti Udyog in 1982, Suzuki increased its equity hold to 50 percent in 1992 and raised that company's capacity to 200,000 units in 1994. By 1998 the Suzuki-Maruti venture held 80 percent of the Indian automobile market. In China, Suzuki built on a licensing agreement with the government in 1993 to become the first Japanese company to invest in a Chinese automobile manufacturing venture.

In the mid-1990s Suzuki introduced two successful products to the Japanese market: the Wagon R miniwagon, which debuted in 1993, and the Alto van, which was introduced one year later with a $5,000 price tag that made it the least expensive automobile in the country. Also during this time, however, Suzuki's problems with the Samurai returned to haunt the company. In 1995 the U.S. courts awarded $90 million to a woman who was paralyzed as the result of a Samurai rollover accident. Suzuki responded by suing the Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, in 1996. The company claimed that the Consumers Union had purposely manipulated the test in 1988 to ensure that the Samurai failed the short-course maneuvering portion.

As Suzuki approached the 21st century, it remained primarily a niche manufacturer. The company derived about 70 percent of its income from sales of automobiles, including the Cervo, Alto, and Swift car models; the Carry van; and the sport-utility vehicles Samurai and the Escudo, which was sold in the United States as the Sidekick. In 1998 the company introduced a compact SUV called the Jimny Wide. Hoping to sell 2,000 of the 1,300cc-powered vehicles a month in Japan, Suzuki planned to begin exporting the vehicle in mid-1998.

Moreover, in the late 1990s, Suzuki remained Japan's leading minicar manufacturer, a position it had held for almost 25 years. Motorcycles, which ranged from 50cc scooters to 1100cc touring bikes, represented approximately 15 percent of Suzuki's business. In addition, outboard motors contributed 3 percent of Suzuki Motor Corporation sales.

The company sold approximately two million vehicles in 1997, including nearly 250,000 Wagon R miniwagons, which made that model the top-selling vehicle in Japan. The Wagon R maintained that position through 2000. Suzuki had hoped to increase the number of vehicles sold per year to 2.5 million by 2000, but the economic turmoil in Asia in 1997 and 1998 derailed these plans. The economic crisis seriously affected several markets in which Suzuki had major operations, including Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

In the U.S. market in the late 1990s, both the Sidekick and the X-90 ended their production runs. The Sidekick had been more successful than the whimsical X-90, which simply never caught on, but the Vitara (marketed in Japan as the Escudo) replaced the Sidekick as Suzuki's compact SUV in the United States in 1998. At the same time, Suzuki introduced a beefed-up version of the Vitara, the Grand Vitara (the Grand Escudo in Japan), which was the first small SUV to feature a V-6 engine. To support the new models, Suzuki significantly increased its network of U.S. dealerships.

Increasing Ties with GM in the Early 21st Century

Spurred in part by the 1998 creation of DaimlerChrysler AG, which shook up the global auto industry, GM and Suzuki strengthened their relationship. In 1998 the companies agreed to jointly develop subcompact cars for the European market, and GM spent about $318 million to increase its stake in Suzuki to 10 percent. Early in 2000 their jointly developed European car, the Suzuki Wagon R+/Opel Agila, began coming off assembly lines in Hungary (through Magyar Suzuki) and Poland (through an Opel plant--Adam Opel AG being a GM subsidiary). The partners were also active on the South American continent: In April 2000 production of the Grand Vitara began at General Motors de Argentina S.A. The companies also were collaborating in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

In June 2000 Osamu Suzuki, who had served as president of Suzuki Motor since June 1978, became chairman and CEO of the company. The longtime leader, who had married a granddaughter of the company founder and took his wife's family name, had built Suzuki into a global powerhouse through his consistent focus on small cars, cost-containment, and conservative fiscal practices, as well as an aggressive approach to expanding into developing markets. Taking over as president and COO was Masao Toda, who had been a vice-president in charge of technology, manufacturing, and purchasing. Toda remained president until April 2003, when he stepped down for health reasons and was replaced by Hiroshi Tsuda, a senior managing director.

Suzuki and GM strengthened their alliance in September 2000, placing further emphasis on Suzuki's position as GM's small-car partner. GM subsequently injected about $600 million into Suzuki in January 2001 to increase its stake to 20 percent. As part of the deal, GM Chairman John F. Smith, Jr., gained a seat on the Suzuki board, becoming the first outsider to hold such a position. Part of the money invested into Suzuki went toward the start-up of production in Japan of a new jointly developed all-wheel-drive compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze. Japanese sales of the Cruze began in October 2001, and then exports of the vehicle to Australia began in April 2002 where it was sold as the Holden Cruze by a GM subsidiary, Holden, Ltd.

On the motorcycle front, meanwhile, Suzuki and the other "Big Four" Japanese motorcycle makers (the others being Honda, Yamaha, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd.) had for years faced heightened competition from newly insurgent European and U.S. manufacturers as well as from Chinese companies making pirated copies of their machines. Responding to such threats, Suzuki and Kawasaki announced in August 2001 that they had entered into a cooperation agreement whereby they would jointly develop new motorcycle models and would unify their parts procurement and production operations to cut costs. In an unrelated development, Suzuki in May 2002 began manufacturing products in the United States for the first time when a plant in Rome, Georgia, run by U.S. subsidiary Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation began turning out all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Also during 2002 Suzuki converted two of its key overseas production joint ventures--Maruti Udyog in India and P.T. Indomobil Suzuki International in Indonesia--into consolidated subsidiaries by acquiring majority control of the ventures. Suzuki now held a 54.2 percent stake in Maruti Udyog and 90 percent of Indomobil Suzuki. In July 2003 the Indian government sold 25 percent of its remaining interest in Maruti Udyog to the public through an initial public offering (IPO).

As part of GM's 2002 takeover of the remnants of the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Company of South Korea, Suzuki laid out $89 million for a 15 percent stake in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, the South Korean company that GM formed as a successor to Daewoo Motor. The first outcome of this new alliance was the introduction of two new Suzuki models into the U.S. market in the fall of 2003, both of which were rebadged Daewoo models. The Verona, a five-passenger sedan competing directly against such top-sellers as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, marked Suzuki's entrée into the midsize segment of the car market, while the Forenza was marketed as a "premium" compact sedan. These vehicles were the first of nine new vehicles that Suzuki planned to introduce into the U.S. market over a five-year period, during which time the firm aimed to roughly triple its U.S. sales from the 68,000 it sold in 2002 to 200,000 by 2007. Meantime, plans were being made for Suzuki to begin selling GM Daewoo models in Japan under the Chevrolet brand in either late 2003 or early 2004.

At the same time that Suzuki was attempting to triple its U.S. sales, its legal battle against Consumers Union continued. By 2002 the ruling that had awarded $90 million to a woman paralyzed in a Samurai rollover accident had been overturned. Suzuki's lawsuit against Consumers Union was dismissed in 2000, but Suzuki won an appeal to a U.S. Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ordered the case to trial. Consumers Union then filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Principal Subsidiaries: Bell Art Co., Ltd.; Enshu Seiko Co., Ltd.; Hamamatsu Pipe Co., Ltd.; Snic Co., Ltd.; S. Tech Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Akita Auto Parts Mfg. Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Business Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Hamamatsu Auto Parts Mfg. Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Marin Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Nousei Center Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Precision Industries Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Toyama Auto Parts Mfg. Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Transportation and Packaging Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Works Techno Ltd.; Suzuki Australia Pty. Ltd.; Suzuki Austria Automobil Handels G.m.b.H.; Cambodia Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.; Suzuki Canada Inc.; Suzuki Motor de Colombia S.A.; Suzuki France S.A.; Suzuki International Europe GmbH (Germany); Magyar Suzuki Corporation (Hungary); Maruti Udyog Ltd. (India; 54.2%); P.T. Indomobil Suzuki International (Indonesia; 90%); Suzuki Italia S.p.A. (Italy); Myanmar Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.; Suzuki New Zealand Ltd.; Pak Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. (Pakistan); Suzuki Motorcycles Pakistan Ltd.; Suzuki Philippines Inc.; Suzuki Motor Poland Ltd.; Suzuki Auto Madrid S.A. (Spain); Suzuki Motor España, S.A. (Spain); Thai Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. (Thailand); Thai Suzuki Trading Co., Ltd. (Thailand); Suzuki GB PLC (U.K.); American Suzuki Motor Corporation (U.S.A.); Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation (U.S.A.).

Principal Competitors: Toyota Motor Corporation; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Honda Motor Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; Mazda Motor Corporation; Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.; Ford Motor Company; DaimlerChrysler AG; Hyundai Motor Company.


  • Key Dates:
  • 1909: Michio Suzuki founds Suzuki Loom Works, a manufacturer of weaving machines.
  • 1920: The company is taken public as Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company.
  • 1952: Shift to motorized vehicles begins with the introduction of the Power Free moped.
  • 1954: The company name is changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
  • 1955: The first motorcycle, the Colleda, debuts; Suzuki introduces the Suzulight, a lightweight passenger car.
  • 1961: The company makes its first light truck, the Suzulight Carry FB.
  • 1967: The first overseas assembly plant is established in Thailand.
  • 1981: Suzuki enters into a marketing and production alliance with General Motors (GM), which purchases a 3 percent stake in Suzuki.
  • 1985: Suzuki introduces the Samurai, the first compact sport-utility vehicle, to the U.S. market.
  • 1986: American Suzuki Motor Corp. is established as a U.S. holding company subsidiary.
  • 1988: Consumer Reports declares the Samurai unsafe because of an alleged propensity to roll over; sales of the Samurai plunge.
  • 1990: The company changes its name to Suzuki Motor Corporation.
  • 1993: The Wagon R miniwagon is introduced into the Japanese market.
  • 1997: The Wagon R becomes the top-selling vehicle in Japan, posting sales of nearly 250,000 units.
  • 1998: GM and Suzuki agree to jointly develop subcompact cars in Europe, and GM increases its stake in Suzuki to 10 percent.
  • 2001: Ties between GM Suzuki deepen: GM increases its stake in Suzuki to 20 percent, and the two companies begin marketing the codeveloped Chevrolet Cruze, which is manufactured by Suzuki in Japan; Suzuki enters into an agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to begin joint development of motorcycles.
  • 2002: Suzuki takes over majority control of two former overseas joint ventures: Maruti Udyog in India and P.T. Indomobil Suzuki International in Indonesia; the company takes a 15 percent stake in GM Daewoo Auto & Technology, the GM-formed successor company to bankrupt South Korean automaker Daewoo Motor.

Additional Details

  • Public Company
  • Incorporated: 1920 as Suzuki Loom Manufacturing Company
  • Employees: 13,920
  • Sales: ¥2.02 trillion ($16.77 billion) (2003)
  • Stock Exchanges: Tokyo Osaka Nagoya
  • Ticker Symbol: 7269
  • NAIC: 336111 Automobile Manufacturing; 336211 Motor Vehicle Body Manufacturing; 336300 Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing; 336991 Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Parts Manufacturing; 333618 Other Engine Equipment Manufacturing

Further Reference

  • Bedard, Patrick, "The Next Big Thing," Car and Driver, May 1995, pp. 52-56.
  • "Cars Are a Sideline for Suzuki; Sport-Utes Carry the Load," Automotive News, April 29, 1996, pp. S72+.
  • Eisenstodt, Gale, "A Four Billion People Market," Forbes, September 27, 1993, pp. 48-49.
  • Finlay, Steve, "Suzuki Gets Aggressive," Ward's Auto World, May 1998, p. 174.
  • Friedland, Jonathan, "Mini Miracle: Suzuki Holds Its Own While Other Carmakers Suffer," Far Eastern Economic Review, April 28, 1994, p. 76.
  • Miller, Karen Lowry, "Why the Road Less Traveled Suits Suzuki," Business Week, June 15, 1992, p. 126E.
  • Reitman, Valerie, "Frugal Head of Suzuki Drives Markets in Asia," Wall Street Journal, February 26, 1998.
  • Treece, James B., "GM, Suzuki Zero in on Developing Markets," Automotive News, September 21, 1998, p. 3.
  • White, Gregory L., and Norihiko Shirouzu, Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2000, p. A3.

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